Lent begins today, on Ash Wednesday, and ends 40 days later (not counting Sundays) on the Saturday before Easter. It offers each of us an occasion to be intentional in furthering our walk with Christ through worship, study, and reflection as we remember Jesus’ journey to the cross.
This Lenten season, I would encourage you to attend the special worship services (Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday) and also to be intentional about your spiritual growth.
For those that are in Christ, there is an ongoing sanctification (growth in Christlikeness) occurring in our lives that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and fueled by our study of God’s Word. Think of it as a stove – the fire is the Holy Spirit and the wood is God’s Word. The more we feed ourselves with God’s Word the more the Holy Spirit will burn in our lives and transform our character
This Lenten season I would encourage you to remove some things in your life and replace them with a time of prayer and study of God’s Scripture. Let me suggest a few areas to “fast” from:
- TV Shows
- Video / Computer Games
- One Meal a week
Christians are never called to empty their minds. No, instead we are called to fill our minds with Christ (Philippians 4:9). Therefore, do not merely stop these activities but also replace the times spent on these with God’s Word. One practical way my family is growing in this is through our dinner time. We strive to sit down every night for a family meal (and give up many things to do so). After praying and talking about the day (and eating) we spend time studying and memorizing God’s Word. It has become a time where our family’s faith is fueled.
One additional reminder, Lent for many has become a religious ritual (or work) that people participate in with the false hope of earning a better standing with God. Please remember, our standing before God comes through faith alone in Jesus Christ. But, those that are saved are motivated by the gospel to grow in their sanctification! “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
I hope to see you tonight at 6:30PM for the Ash Wednesday Service.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).